I can’t believe it’s been three months since I last looked at this. I’ve really been distracted by the 3D modeling and miniature creation project. I’m not quite done with the battleship miniature so that will have to wait another week (or more, it’s taking longer than I expected). With this post we are going to cover all the remaining modules and wrap up the module based campaign.
When we last left our intrepid adventurers, they had either just returned from Alcazzar or finished up some other mission for CDC and had arrived in the White Light system, probably on Clarion station. They have shiny new level 1 spaceship skills and are hopefully itching to start using them. It’s time to recruit them into the Clarion Royal Marines!
Warriors of White Light
SFKH0: Warriors of White Light is the first of the Knight Hawks modules that incorporates both the Alpha Dawn and Knight Hawks skills and includes bits of the spaceship combat game as part of the play.
The module is designed to give the characters experience with various aspects of the Knight Hawks rules including ship combat, zero-g and space suit operations, and a chance to battle the sathar once again.
The module includes five mini adventures that are designed to be interspersed between descriptions of routine patrol and inspection duty. The first is just a routine inspections where they discover weapons to being smuggled to anti-crown forces on the surface of Clarion. The second presents a ship controlled by a mad cybot that hit hurling toward Clarion station. The third is a raid on a pirate base in the system. The fourth encounter has the PCs pitted against a sathar boarding force that is trying to capture their ship. The final encounter is a boardgame scenario where the milita battle a sathar raid.
I’d play this module as presented. As the Referee you have to add in a few more routine encounters that don’t really go anyway to help make the scenarios presented stand out but you don’t want to spend too much time on it, just enough to that the players appreciate the excitement.
By the end of the module, the PCs will have earned between 15-30 XP. I’ll be giving the sample characters 25. Unless the preform poorly, this is enough for all of them to have level 2 skills by the time they play the scenario with the sathar boarding force. By the end of the module, they should have all achieved level 2 in their spaceship skills and the gunners may even be at level 3.
The Question of What is Next
Until this morning, I would have said Dramune Run (SFKH1). It is the next module in the series and we’ve been playing them mostly in order so that makes logical sense. But as I was thinking about writing this post, I realized that that might not be the best order. So we’ll start by looking at what to do if you do want to run Dramune Run next and they I’ll discuss the alternate option that I’ll be using.
If you want to run Dramune Run as the next module, you’ll need to add in a few more adventures between the end of the Warriors of White Light (WoWL) module and Dramune Run. In that module, the PCs will be flying a hull size 6 ship, which requires at least a level 3 Pilot skill and our pilot PC is only level 2. They probably need about 15-30 more XP to get there (My sample PC, Dolnab, needs 20 more after WoWL).
There are plenty of options here. You could run more adventures like those presented in the WoWL module. The main thing here would be to come up with some new scenarios and not just reuse the same ideas. White Light and Clarion have been favorite topics of the authors in the Frontier Explorer fanzine and we’ve even been running a “Warriors of White Light 2.0” series in the magazine (starting in issue 22). You could mine these for ideas of adventures on Clarion station (issue 23), in the White Light system (issue 23), and even one that involves the freighter from the first encounter that takes them across the Frontier to Cassidine and back (issue 24). We took a bit of hiatus from the series in issues 25 & 26 but there are still some articles in the queue so you can expect more to come. These adventures and ideas should get the PCs up to a level 3 pilot skill and then they are ready to tackle the Dramune Run.
However, as I was thinking about this, I felt that there was a better way to run the modules. In addition to requiring a few more adventures to get the PCs ready for the Dramune Run module, the module ends with them owning a ship. At that point, it’s pretty hard to get the PCs to not just want to go off adventuring in their ship and the remaining modules are not really conductive to that. Instead, let’s save the Dramune Run for the climax of the campaign and start by going a different direction.
Beyond the Frontier
The last three Star Frontiers modules published by TSR comprise the Beyond the Frontier series. The modules are:
- SFKH2: Mutiny on the Eleanor Moraes
- SFKH3: Face of the Enemy
- SFKH4: The War Machine
Much like the Volturnus series of Alpha Dawn adventures, these modules take the characters to new worlds to meet new races and confront the sathar, just on a larger scale.
The advantage of going with these modules before Dramune Run is that they make a nice progression from a power level perspective and the PCs can actually be assigned to the mission as part of their commission in the Clarion Royal Marines. It can just be their next assignment.
From a power perspective, the PCs only need a level 2 piloting skill to be the backup pilot on the UPFS Eleanor Moraes, a HS 3 exploration vessel. If anything, the PCs are going to be better skilled than the pre-gens provided with the module. They can start right away without any intermediate adventures needed. And participation in these adventures will give them more than enough experience to be at the correct level for the Dramune Run.
The PCs will be part of the Frontier Expeditionary Force (I should make a patch for that organization) which is composed of civilians and Spacefleet members. It’s completely reasonable that the government of Clarion, which has a high standing in the Council of Worlds, would volunteer some of its decorated Royal Marines to be part of the endeavor. Pushing the boundaries of the Frontier helps to ensure the security of their world. The PCs are a natural choice given their recent experiences in the WoWL module’s scenarios.
Again, these modules can be run as presented. I’m going just discuss them briefly to summarize what happens and the XP gained.
SFKH2: Mutiny on the Eleanor Moraes
This module starts of the series with the PCs out exploring the world of Mahg Mar in the Waller Nexus system when the First Officer, Bill Terry, mutinies, takes control of the ship, and destroys their exploration airship. It is up to the PCs to traverse the wilderness between them and recapture the Eleanor Moraes before Terry destroys it and kills the remaining crew.
This adventure requires a wide mix of skills and will give the PCs a chance to use some of the environmentalist skills developed back on Volturnus (and hopefully improved upon on some of the intervening adventures). It also requires use of their technological skill and weapons skills and, due to the rough trip back to the ship, gives the medic a chance to shine as well.
Hopefully the PCs recapture the ship intact but regardless, when the call goes out about the events on the planet, they learn that their old ship, the CMS Osprey, is being dispatched to assist and will arrive in a few weeks with supplies and repair materials. They just have to hold out until then.
This modules gives out 6-18 XP depending on how the PCs perform in their trek back to the ship and in the capture of the ship itself. I’ll be awarding our sample characters 15 XP.
SFKH3: The Face of the Enemy
This module also takes place on Mahg Mar, after the Osprey arrives but before the repairs to the Eleanor Moraes are complete. In this adventure the PCs once again make contact with a native intelligent race on the planet, something they have had a lot of practice with throughout the campaign (Volturnus, Starmist, and Alcazzar). Along the way they discover evidence of sathar presence on the planet and capture a small, hull size 2 sathar scout ship. The climax of the adventure is a Void jump to a new system (FS30) and a raid on a modified sathar assault carrier and the chance to capture sathar prisoners and the assault carrier itself.
The module awards 5-17 XP depending on how the PCs do. I’ll be awarding our team 14 points for this adventure. They’ve now earned enough XP to increase their Knight Hawks skills even more as well as possibly increase some of their other skills. With the sathar ship captured, they are ready to take on the final part of the series.
SFKH4: The War Machine
In the War Machine, the PCs are going to make contact with the technological race native to the FS30 system and hopefully drive the sathar from the system, capturing or destroying the sathar starship construction center based in the system.
This module involves both character and ship action as well as diplomacy and problem solving. After fighting off a small squadron of sathar fighters, the PCs are contacted by the native race in the system to arrange a meeting. While the team has had several first contact scenarios, this one is unique in that the species being contacted has active interplanetary spaceflight capabilities. After making contact they proceed to the planet’s surface and attack a sathar processing plant. After that they mount an attack on the sathar ships and shipyard. If successful, the Mhemne (the native race) are liberated and the sathar facilities are destroyed along with several sathar ships, reducing their combat capacity in the upcoming (or possibly on-going) Second Sathar War. The system is renamed the Liberty system (the module doesn’t say what the Mhemne’s name for it was) and the PCs are hailed as liberators and heros.
This module awards from 9 to 26 XP based on performance but if the PC’s are performing down near the 9 XP level, they may not succeed as they are making a lot of mistakes and losing valuable resources. We’ll give then 22 XP for this module.
Back to the Frontier
That end the Beyond the Frontier series of adventures. By the time it’s all over, the PCs have been gone for several months. Upon their return to Clarion, they can collect their back pay which should be a considerable amount of cash. It’s now time for the final adventure in the module campaign,
The Dramune Run
At this point the PCs have level 3 spaceship skills and reputations as heroes and outstanding members of the Clarion Royal Marines in addition to their other exploits across the Frontier. Just the type of people Garlus Tylappar needs to help him.
The initial encounter of this adventure can occur at any point after the PCs are back on Clarion station. They’ll probably be given a few days to a few weeks of leave after returning from the Liberty system. Garlus should approach them during this down time to make his pitch. He should lean on their reputations and show a knowledge of their exploits in making his case (but nothing that would not be known through public media).
This module also just plays out as written. The PCs will help get the Gullwind repaired and into space. They will fight off pirates on the way to Dramune and then be captured and escape from Darkworld station rescuing the Chukkahs and exposing the Malthar’s plans.
The XP awards for this module range from 20 to 43 with a possible 5 XP for the astrogator and up to 120 XP divided by the number of PCs for rescuing Chukkahs. I’ll be awarding our team a total of 48 XP each.
And that wraps up the module campaign. The PCs now have a ship, and after the Beyond the Frontier series, a reasonably large chunk of cash to get them started. If they want to continuing adventuring or take up the life of merchants you can extend the campaign for as long as you want.
The Final Characters
These are the final skill levels of the characters at the end of Dramune Run.
Race: Yazirian, F
Racial Abilities: Battle Rage 5%
PSA – Technological
Skills: Technician 6, Robotics 5, Computer 3, Beam 3, Melee 3, Engineer 3
Born on Hentz, Araks. Yanni likes to tinker with gadgets and vehicles. She’d love to be able to tinker on starships as well.
Race: Yazirian, M
Racial Abilities: Battle Rage 5%
PSA – Bio-social
Skills: Medic 5, Environmental 4, Projectile 5, Psycho-social 3, Melee 2, Gyrojet 2, Beam 2, Rocket Weapons 3
Born on Pale, Truane’s Star. As Mekar will tell anyone who asks, his job is to understand the local critters and keep everyone else in one piece.
Racial Abilities: Lie Detection 5%
PSA – Techological
Skills: Technician 6, Computer 3, Robotics 3, Projectile 3, Melee 3, Demolitions 1, Beam 1, Pilot 3
Born on Inner Reach, Dramune. Dolnab loves to tinker with computers and also play flight simulator games.
Race: Human, F
PSA – Military
Skills: Beam 6, Melee 6, Environmental 2, Thrown 4, Martial Arts 4, Medic 2, Projectile 3, Energy Weapons 3
Born on Minotaur, Theseus. Michaella grew up as the youngest of seven with six older brothers. She learned to shoot and hold her own with her brothers’ rough-housing at a young age.
Race: Vrusk, F
Racial Abilities: Comprehension 15%
PSA – Military
Skills: Gyrojet 6, Martial Arts 4, Projectile 4, Technician 2, Melee 6, Thrown 3, Beam 2, Rocket Weapons 3
Born on Terldrom, Fromeltar. K’sta’n has always had an interest in weapons, but also in the forms of the various martial arts.
Race: Vrusk, M
Racial Abilities: Comprehension 15%
PSA – Technological
Skills: Computer 6, Robotics 5, Beam 3, Melee 2, Technician 2, Astrogation 3
Born on Gran Quivera, Prenglar. T’vor used to hang aout at the University of Prenglar as a kid and chat up the tech professors. He loves to hack computers and robots and can usually get anything working, eventually. He also has a deep interest in astronomy.
I don’t really have much to add. What are your thoughts and ideas on the way the campaign was laid out? Feel free to comment below.